Monday, July 6, 2009

Homemade Ricotta and Summer Tomato Salad

Making cheese has become one of my new favorite things. Homemade ricotta is almost too easy. My friend Katie makes her own ricotta and mozzarella for lasagna. She's inspired me - as soon as the nights turn chilly, cheesy lasagna will be in our oven.

Ricotta Cheese
  • 4 cups whole milk (Today I tried low fat milk, and it worked just fine.)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Line a strainer with cheesecloth, and set the strainer over a large bowl.

2. Combine milk, cream and salt, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

3. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat to low, and add the lemon juice. Gently stir for 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture should start to curdle.

4. Pour the mix into the strainer, and let the cheese drain for an hour or so. Use the cheese right away or refrigerate it in an airtight container. It should be good for a few days.

So far, my favorite way to use ricotta cheese is like this:

Summer Tomato Salad

  • 2 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks - various sized heirlooms work especially well
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • one 3-ounce chunk day-old country-style bread, ripped into small chunks
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • nice handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup ricotta

Mix everything together in a bowl. Serve it right away, or if you can stand to wait, refrigerate it for an hour or so. It definitely gets better with age!

Now if I only had my own cow...

1 comment:

  1. dang girl! i am so proud of you. i just may try this one time with all my free time stranded at home! :)